Craniofacial Center Dental Services

Cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies usually affect a child’s dental development. Teeth in the area of the cleft may be missing or improperly positioned. There may also be extra teeth or malformed teeth. In addition, affected teeth may be more susceptible to tooth decay. For these reasons, care of the teeth should begin as soon as the teeth emerge. Preventive practices with regular visits to the pediatric dentist will help to ensure the best dental outlook for your child.

The Craniofacial Dental Team Specialists

Cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies usually affect a child’s dental development. Teeth in the area of the cleft may be missing or improperly positioned. There may also be extra teeth or malformed teeth. In addition, affected teeth may be more susceptible to tooth decay. For these reasons, care of the teeth should begin as soon as the teeth emerge. Preventive practices with regular visits to the pediatric dentist will help to ensure the best dental outlook for your child.

  • Dental Implant Reconstruction – The dental implant reconstruction physician is specially trained to support children who have craniofacial anomalies that may require dental implants, facial reconstruction, or bone grafting. They work together with the plastic surgeon and orthodontist. 
  • Prosthodontics – Our pediatric prosthodontist specializes in dental appliances and implants.

Pediatric Dental Residents

Dental residents from the Nicklaus Children's pediatric dental residency program participate in the Craniofacial Clinics, providing evaluation of each child's teeth and facial growth.

For patient families seeking ongoing dental care and management, Nicklaus Children's offers its Pediatric Dental Program, located at the Nicklaus Children's Doral Outpatient Center.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon

The oral maxillofacial surgeon is specially trained to perform reconstructive dental and maxillofacial surgery for children with craniofacial anomalies.


Jason E Portnof, DMD, MD

Primary Office: Boca Raton

Clinical Interests: correction of dentofacial deformities, orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery), maxillofacial reconstructive surgery, oral and maxillofacial pathology, and complex dental implantology.


Pediatric Orthodontists

The pediatric orthodontist is a dentist who is specially trained to straighten and align your child's teeth. Children with craniofacial anomalies usually need to have their teeth straightened as they get older. The orthodontist works closely with the plastic surgeon regarding the use of a presurgical orthopedic device to bring cleft maxillary segments closer together. Sometimes the overall goal requires repositioning of these segments prior to plastic surgery. The orthodontist is also an archivist and record keeper related to your child’s growth and development.


Carmen A Garcia-Paul, DMD

Primary Office: Miami

Clinical Interests: Orthodontics


Derek A. Sanders, DMD

Primary Office: Miami

Clinical Interests: Orthodontics


Elaine S. de Roode, DDS

Primary Office: Miami

Clinical Interests: Orthodontics



Idalia Lastra, DMD

Primary Office: Miami

Additional Office: Key Biscayne

Clinical Interests: Orthodontics


Leonard H. Rothenberg, DDS

Primary Office: Miami

Clinical Interests: Orthodontics


 A physician identified with a Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists logo is an employee of Nicklaus Children's Health System. All other physicians listed on the website are in private medical practices.